Fear grips [illegal]immigrants after Miss. plant raidBy the way, Howard Industries is using the Civil Rights defense, which may have some truth in it:
LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — A day after the largest single-workplace immigration raid in U.S. history, Elizabeth Alegria was too scared to send her son to school and worried about when she'd see her husband again.
Nearly 600 immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally were detained, creating panic among dozens of families in this small southern Mississippi town.
Alegria, 26, a Mexican [apparently illegal] immigrant, was working at the Howard Industries transformer plant Monday when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stormed in. When they found out she has two sons, ages 4 and 9, she was fitted with a bracelet and told to appear in federal court next month. But her husband, Andres, wasn't so lucky.
"I'm very traumatized because I don't know if they are going to let my husband go and when I will see him," Alegria said through a translator Tuesday as she returned to the Howard Industries parking lot to retrieve her sport utility vehicle.
The superintendent of the county school district said about half of approximately 160 Hispanic students were absent Tuesday.
Roberto Velez, pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Peniel, where an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the 200 parishioners were caught up in the raid, said [illegal] parents were afraid immigration officials would take them.
"They didn't send their kids to school today," he said. "How scared is that?"
One worker caught in Monday's sweep at the plant said fellow workers applauded as immigrants were taken into custody.[Yes! Those would be Americans applauding there.] Federal officials said a tip from a union member prompted them to start investigating several years ago.[More]
In a statement to the Laurel Leader-Call newspaper, Howard Industries said the company "runs every check allowed to ascertain the immigration status of all applicants for its jobs."It's true that there is an Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices which makes it its business to see that employers don't ask a man with a Mexican accent, a Pancho Villa mustache, and a sombrero any more questions about his immigration status than they'd ask a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. See Indiscriminate Anti-Discrimination Enforcement: Why Is It Illegal To Check For Illegals? By Marcus Epstein. However, I don't think you can hire six hundred illegal foreigners entirely by accident.